Royal Air Force Museum, London

photograph of replica Hurricane and Spitfire outside the RAF Museum
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Wing your way over to a wonderful collection of aircraft, interactives, medals, uniforms, film shows and memorabilia on display and trace the story of the RAF and aviation itself.

Visit the awe-inspiring sound and light show that takes you back in time to the Battle of Britain. The Aeronauts Interactive Centre offers hands-on entertainment and education for all ages and includes cockpit controls, co-ordination tests, engine lifting, air speed, drop zone, pilot testing and more.

Take your visit to the next dimension by entering the Museum's 4D Theatre and discover how it feels to glide amongst the clouds. Don't forget to explore the Grahame-White Watch Office, the museum's latest permanent exhibition, which will transport you back to the pioneering days of flight at Hendon during the Edwardian period.

The onsite museum shop is packed with models, toys and gift items as well as exclusive magazines, books and videos. There is also a cafe and licensed restaurant and picnic area to take care of catering needs. Pay and Display Parking available.

A FREE, fun and fantastic day out for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10am - 6pm [last entry 5:30pm]

Admission charges

Admission is FREE to the Museum.
A car parking charge is payable.

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Additional info

Research Department open to the public by appointment only. Please contact the Department in the first instance to arrange an appointment to meet with a curator.

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
An Artist's impression of what the new exhibition will look like

First World War in the Air

  • 4 December 2014 — 31 December 2020 *on now

Eleven years after the first powered flight, aviation emerged as a force capable of changing the face of battle. In 1914 the Royal Flying Corps numbered just 1,500 people. By 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, this had grown to more than 205,000. The full strategic value of air power had become all too evident - both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

This compelling story of the First World War in the Air will be revealed in a new exhibition in our Claude Grahame-White Hangar

Discover the vital work of the Service men and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air as the essential use of 'eyes in the sky' for reconnaissance was complemented by the introduction of new technologies for bombing and fighting high above the ground.

Many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms will be displayed alongside the finest collection of First World War aircraft bringing both moving and inspiring stories to life - and ensuring that the bravery and sacrifice of these aviation pioneers will never be forgotten.

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/opening-of-first-world-war-in-the-air-exhibition/

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year.

  • 17 March — 30 September 2017 *on now

The Royal Air Force Museum will be celebrating the superb achievements of Royal Air Force Photographers following the judging of the Royal Air Force’s annual Photographic Competition which is now in its 27th year. The Museum will be displaying the winning entries of the 2016 Competition in a unique display which opens to the public on 17 March in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

Subject categories range from ‘The Operational Experience’, an image that reflects the Royal Air Force conducting vital work on operations or training in support of operations, through to the ‘Equipment’ category which gives photographers the exciting opportunity to display their skill photographing the Service’s world-class equipment.

Not to be missed, this exhibition is a visual feast for the eyes. Also on display will be the 'People's Photograph' as voted for by members of the public during Summer 2016.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this display of photographs is free of charge.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/royal-air-force-photographer-of-the-year-2014/

Wings of Love

Wings of Love

  • 14 April 2017 — 19 February 2018 *on now

‘Wings of Love’ is inspired by sweetheart brooches from the Museum’s collections, on display in this exhibition. Sweetheart brooches were gifts typically in the form of regimental badges, given by airmen to their wives, girlfriends and family members.

The exhibition has been co-curated with our local schools and colleges and includes original objects and documents from the Museum’s collection as well as the student’s own work created in response to the theme.


‘Wings of Love’s is accompanied by a programme of live dance performances by Middlesex University BA Dance studies students :

Saturday 20 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 21 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 14 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 15 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 11 Nov 2017 Time TBC
Sunday 12 Nov 12.30 & 14.30

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Attendance at the exhibition is free of charge

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/wings-of-love/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
A member of the public siting in our Phantom Cockpit

The Phantom Experience

  • 15 July — 30 December 2017 *on now

The McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2 is an iconic aircraft that formed a major part of the Royal Air Force’s combat aircraft strength for 23 years. We are now offering visitors the opportunity to sit in this fascinating piece of Cold War technology.

Our Phantom has a remarkable history; it took part in a commemorative Transatlantic Flight and was painted in special colours. These colours celebrated 60 years since Alcock and Brown completed the first transatlantic flight in 1919. After the celebrations, the Phantom was painted in the colours of the 56 Squadron. It was brought to the RAF Museum London in 1992 after accruing over 5000 hours of flight time. It is now displayed with a full load of deactivated Sidewinder and Skyflash missiles, fuel drop tanks and a centre-line Gatling cannon located the heart of the Historic Hangars.

Each Phantom Experience session booked caters for one individual and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Our wonderful volunteers will guide you into the cockpit and explain how the aircraft would have been operated. Before you book your tickets please read our access terms and conditions located at www.rafmuseum.org/whatson.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission to this guided tour is £8 plus 50p booking fee.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-phantom-experience/

Secret Spy School

Secret Spy School

  • 25 July — 30 August 2017 *on now

Date: Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 25 July – 30 August

Time: 10:30am – 3.00pm by our Lancaster 'S' for 'Sugar'

Suitable for ages 5+

Join us for a summer of sleuthing at the RAF Museum at our Spy School. Each of our spies receives their own spy pack and can take part in one of our spy craft activities that take place underneath the Lancaster on the following days.

Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 July – Spy kit bags
Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August – Disguises
Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 August – Secret book boxes
Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 August - Disguises
Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 August – Secret book boxes
Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 August – Mission books

What will you get up to in each activity?

Spy kit bags: You will have the chance to design your own spy bag to keep all your secret things in, including your spy mission pack.

Disguises: Come and make your own disguise. Spies need to be able to hide! So we will be making spy masks to hide our identities.

Secret book boxes: The best hiding places are inside our secret book boxes. Come and paint and design the cover so you can hide your things on your bookshelf at home.

Mission books: Design your own mission note book and keep all your secret spy notes and drawings safe.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission charges are £3.50 per spy pack

Dusty from Disney's Planes

Summer Cinema - Planes (U)

  • 3 August 2017 2-4:30pm

Join Dusty, a crop duster with sky-high dreams and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take on the world’s fastest flyers in the greatest air race ever. Dusty has a huge heart but two big problems...he’s not exactly built for speed, plus he’s afraid of heights. His courage is put to the ultimate test as this unlikely hero aims higher than he ever imagined. With a little help from his friends, Dusty finds the courage to be more than he was built for and the inspiration to soar.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

Admission is £3.50 per person.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2349056?catID=9974

Valiant

Summer Cinema

  • 17 August 2017 2-4:30pm

Fly up, up and away with the RAF Museum at our family friendly cinema days! We will be in the Art Gallery with comfy cushions so come and join us for a selection of fun films perfect for the whole family.

Inspired by the true-life story of carrier pigeons who were trained to carry vital information for the Allied forces across the English Channel during World War II, this computer-animated adventure comedy focuses on Valiant (voice of Ewan McGregor), a wood pigeon who has volunteered to do his part for England during the war.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Tickets for this screening are £3.50 per person

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2349058?catID=9976

Hendon Aerodrome circa 1912

From Habit to Dependency: Hendon and Military Aviation in the First World War

  • 18 August 2017 12:30-2pm

Hendon has a long association with aviation. As early as the 1910s experimental flights were undertaken across its green fields, and air races fired the public’s imagination. Claude Grahame-White was amongst a group of pioneer aviators who established the London Aerodrome. Pilot training was offered to male and female enthusiasts. Air displays drew huge crowds and became a fixture of the social calendar rivalling Ascot and Henley. Hundreds of thousands of people developed the ‘Hendon Habit’ of attending the flying season and the pilots taking part became celebrities in their right. With the coming of the First World War Hendon became a hub of training for the military air services and the testing of aircraft for the front line. It was at the heart of a massive aircraft manufacturing industry which developed in in the local area. Over 55,000 aircraft were produced in the UK during the First World War with 8,000 of them being made in North West London. This talk charts Hendon’s involvement with military aviation; from a display venue demonstrating the potential use of aircraft in warfare to a focal point for pilot training, manufacturing and testing. It highlights the development of the site, its activities and the people involved.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this lecture is free of charge but by ticket only. Please reserve your seat accordingly.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/from-habit-to-dependency/

Visit Our First World War in the Air Exhibition

Family Festival of Flight

  • 25 — 26 August 2017 11am-4pm

Take the paper plane challenge, follow the Squadron Dog family trail, perfect your drilling technique, learn how to code – and much more – at this free family festival. Includes family-friendly talks and walks, storytelling, and the chance to handle original and replica objects and to try on flight clothing. Suitable for ages 3+

Suitable for

  • Family friendly
  • Especially for children

Admission

This activity is free of charge as it is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/family-festival-of-flight/

Disney Pixar's Up

Summer Cinema - Up (U)

  • 31 August 2017 2-3pm

Carl Fredricksen, a retired balloon salesman, is part rascal, part dreamer who is ready for his last chance at high-flying excitement. Tying thousands of balloons to his house, Carl sets off to the lost world of his childhood dreams. Unbeknownst to Carl, Russell, an overeager 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer who has never ventured beyond his backyard, is in the wrong place at the wrong time – Carl’s front porch! The world’s most unlikely duo reach new heights and meet fantastic friends like Dug, a dog with a special collar that allows him to speak, and Kevin, a rare 13-foot-tall flightless bird. Stuck together in the wilds of the jungle, Carl realizes that sometimes life’s biggest adventures aren’t the ones you set out looking for.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.50 per person

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2349062?catID=9979

Join us for an evening that commemorates the Battle of Britain at Night

The Battle of Britain at Night

  • 15 September 2017 6:30-9:30pm

ondoners looked to the skies during the summer of 1940 and witnessed the Battle for Britain fought above their homes. The Few who fought in the Spitfires are Hurricanes are remembered on Battle of Britain Day every year. This year the RAF Museum in London will celebrate as they would have in the 1940s with an evening of music, dancing and cocktails.

Treat your ears to the vintage sound of Tricity Vogue and the All Girl Swing Band and why not pick up a few swing moves and get your feet tapping with Swing Patrol. Peer inside the Spitfire Mk.1 and hear the stories of the pilots who flew them. The evening will be packed with activities so join us for Battle of Britain at Night!

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£14.00 plus 50p booking fee

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2349077?catID=9982

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Royal Air Force Museum, London
Grahame Park Way
Colindale
London
Greater London
NW9 5LL
England

Website

www.rafmuseum.org/london

E-mail

Groups

groups@rafmuseum.org

Public Events

whatson@rafmuseum.org

Department of Research & Information Services

research@rafmuseum.org

School & Scout Trips

learning-london@rafmuseum.org

Telephone

Main Switchboard Number

020 8205 2266

Fax

020 8200 1751

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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